He Zhou’s words just now completely ruined the atmosphere.
In the end, Qiu Yanzhi could only back down under He Zhou’s gaze. He pursed his lips and huffed a bit. “Fine, I won’t kiss you then. Not like I wanted to anyways.”
With that, Qiu Yanzhi picked up the remote and changed the movie playing.
At the beginning, Qiu Yanzhi nuzzled He Zhou, holding his hand and laying his head on the man’s shoulder.
Watching Qiu Yanzhi’s head moving in circles, He Zhou couldn’t bear to heartlessly push him away again.
Instead, he tightened his grip on Qiu Yanzhi’s hand.
The suit Qin He was wearing yesterday was stained with quite a bit of blood.
And even the most expensive outfit in He Zhou’s wardrobe wasn’t something the owner of his current body would ever wear.
So He Zhou just called Qin He's secretary and asked him to bring him a suit from home and pick him up while he was at it.
The secretary paused after hearing this. He cautiously repeated the address he heard, sucking in a deep breath after receiving a positive answer. Without further ado, he said he would be there immediately.
The secretary couldn’t stop his mind from wandering to strange places after hanging up.
President He was asking him to bring clothes to an apartment he had never heard of…
There was definitely a story behind this.
Could this be the home of President He’s lover?
But President He was in a coma for more than three years! And it’s been only a week since he could walk without crutches. Wasn’t this way too fast to find a lover??
So could this be an old flame of his?
The secretary knocked on the door, feeling an equal mix of apprehension and anticipation.
But the moment the door opened, he froze in place.
If he remembered correctly, this was the person he had called up two weeks ago and scolded for his lack of professionalism.
"Secretary Zhou." Qiu Yanzhi saw the shocked suspicion in his eyes and lied without blinking, “President He was injured near my home yesterday afternoon. That’s why he spent the night here.”
He Zhou also didn't want others to think that Qiu Yanzhi and Qin He had any relationship, so he too explained, “En. It was just a coincidence that I ended up here. We don’t have anything between us.”
Secretary Zhou looked at the pajamas on He Zhou that fit him perfectly.
Okay, sir. Whatever you say.
He Zhou shot the secretary an irritated look at his knowing expression. “Where are the clothes?"
"Clothes? Oohhh, here they are!" Secretary Zhou hurriedly handed over the clothes he was carrying.
After changing, He Zhou and Qiu Yanzhi followed Secretary Zhou outside.
Secretary Zhou glanced at Qiu Yanzhi. Before he could even ask, He Zhou explained like nothing was out of the ordinary, “Since we’re negotiating with the technicians from Germany today, he’ll be my translator.”
Secretary Zhou nodded like a bobblehead, but inside he was thinking, “I guess it’s time to let the newly hired translator know that he doesn’t need to come.”
He Zhou paused at the entrance of the company. He glanced at Secretary Zhou. “Let’s go to the lab.”
Despite not knowing the way, his expression remained completely neutral as he slightly inclined his head. "You go on ahead."
Secretary Zhou looked at He Zhou and then at Qiu Yanzhi before it hit him: They didn’t want a third wheel like him around so they could, cough, have some time to themselves.
So as a very perceptive secretary, he quickened his steps and took the lead.
As He Zhou and Qiu Yanzhi followed the secretary, people kept greeting him again and again. He Zhou didn’t know any of them, so he could only slightly incline his head in response.
Soon, they arrived at the lab without much difficulty.
The lab technicians seemed to have arrived early. In fact, they seemed to have been waiting for some time.
They greeted He Zhou the moment they saw him in a somewhat impatient fashion.
The team leader immediately asked He Zhou in English when they would be allowed to see that NPC and given the specific documentation of the faulty game.
He Zhou was silent for a moment. "Let me see the confidentiality agreement you signed first."
The team leader took out the confidentiality agreement to He Zhou to see.
At the same time, He Zhou turned around and said to Secretary Zhou, "Catch Translator Qiu up."
Secretary Zhou politely asked Qiu Yanzhi, "Is there anything you need me to clarify?"
Qiu Yanzhi: "Yes. Everything."
Secretary Zhou froze for a moment, which Qiu Yanzhi took advantage of to start asking, “Since when was President He planning this? How many people know about this NPC repatriation plan? Who exactly knows? How many copies of the game data does He Zhou have in his possession?”
Secretary Zhou's expression was a bit hesitant. "I think President He knows more about this than I do...."
Qiu Yanzhi: "He's busy."
Secretary Zhou looked over. Indeed, President He was going over the confidentiality agreement with the technicians right now.
But Secretary Zhou was still a little confused. Hadn’t President He gone over the agreement long ago?
Before he had time to think too much about it, he saw Qiu Yanzhi wink at him. "And President He did tell you to catch me up.”
The phrase ‘spoiled rotten’ flew across Secretary Zhou's mind.
With no choice, he took a deep breath and told Qiu Yanzhi everything he knew: "President He started secretly searching for the game data more than a month ago, but the NPC repatriation plan was only conceived two weeks ago. President He did a great job keeping things on the down-low. The only ones who know about the plan are the nine of us in this lab. And as for the game’s data, there’s only one copy…”
"There’s only one copy?” Qiu Yanzhi suddenly interrupted him.
"Yes." Secretary Zhou had a know-it-all expression on his face. “This is just data. One copy is enough to replicate it however many times you like. And President He’s plan is to send that NPC...back to the game and completely seal off all avenues of escape from the game. The more backups of the data there are, the more likely it is to make mistakes.”
Qiu Yanzhi swallowed dryly. He felt his heartbeat speeding up a bit. “T-that game data...where is it?”
Secretary Zhou gave Qiu Yanzhi a look. “Of course President He has it, ah. Since President He came to see the technicians today, I’m sure he has it on his person, right?”
Qiu Yanzhi knew that Qin He had nothing on him. Not to mention a USB, he didn’t even have any documents on his phone. His stuff was so clean it was suspicious.
Even though He Zhou has been discussing the confidentiality agreement with the team leader, he was also paying attention to Qiu Yanzhi and Secretary Zhou’s conversation.
Hearing that, he immediately ended the pointless conversation with the team leader.
He closed the agreement. “Very well. I’m now very confident that you will be able to fully comply with the confidentiality agreement."
"Of course." The team leader frowned. "So sir, when are you going to show us the NPC that escaped from the game?"
He Zhou put the confidentiality agreement on the desk and smiled faintly. “Do you really believe that a NPC from the game escaped to our world?”
The team leader's eyes shone. “To be honest, I’m not sure. But President He, if what you said was true, this must be a phenomenon only able to occur in virtual reality games…”
He paused for a moment, his tone slightly excited, "This proves that the technology of virtual reality games can reach a higher level altogether, even creating a world that’s almost an exact replica of reality. One that can enable virtual characters to begin to develop a sort of sentience similar to our own. It can even serve as a connection between the virtual world and reality…”
"It was a lie.” He Zhou cut him off.
The team leader choked before he could finish his passionate and ambitious speech.
He Zhou slowly stated, "I was lying to you."
The team leader's eyes widened. "What...what did you just say?"
He Zhou calmly repeated himself: "There was no escaped NPC. I was lying to you.”
The team leader spoke with some difficulty: "...Why did you lie to me then?"
He Zhou: The same reason I lied to you before about wanting to erase the data. I only brought up the NPC later on as a ruse. My true objective is to hire you all to develop a new type of VR game in which the main character falls in love with a NPC who escaped from a VR game.”
The longer the team leader listened, the angrier he became. There were blue veins faintly visible on his forehead.
“Mr. He, what do you take us for? Ever since you told us that a NPC escaped, we’ve been researching and brainstorming night and day. We even stayed up all night last night just to build models for simulating the main ways the NPC could escape. Even though we face failure after failure, we still held hope in our hearts… But now sir, you’re telling me that the escaped NPC you mentioned was just a ruse?”
The team leader paused for a moment, his speech becoming increasingly agitated, “And it was all for a garbage copycat game?!”
"Copycat?" He Zhou pretended not to understand.
The team leader hissed through gritted teeth, "Isn't the ‘brand new’ virtual reality game that Mr. He just mentioned a copy of the recent hit ‘Virtual Love”?”
"How can you say it's a copy?" He Zhou retorted, "A similar idea just happened to occur to me, that’s all.”
The team leader's chest was heaving at this point. Then he reached up and ripped off his badge, throwing it on the ground. "Mr. He, our contract ends here!"
As soon as the team leader left, the other team members also dispersed.
He Zhou: "Secretary Zhou, go draw up a contract termination document."
After Secretary Zhou left, He Zhou and Qiu Yanzhi were the only ones left in the entire lab.
He Zhou handed Qin He's phone to Qiu Yanzhi. "If my guess is correct, the only copy of the game data should be in this phone that Qin He had on him. I must’ve not been able to find it because it’s encrypted. Didn’t you say you had a friend who’s a genius hacker? Can you ask him to help out?”
“What’s our next step if he finds the game data?”
"We’ll change the activation procedure for the game as well as the game’s entrance so that no one can find, enter or destroy the game world.”
Qiu Yanzhi’s brain finally caught up. "...You said those things on purpose to anger him to the point of leaving?”
He Zhou nodded. "Even if I let them help me alter the game today, nothing will change if Qin He comes back tomorrow. Making them hate Qin He to the bone is the only way to make sure nothing happens.”
He Zhou looked up Qin He yesterday and found almost nothing on him. However, he did find some things on this technical team.
Five years ago, the team leader had his thesis design stolen. And the thief apparently said to him, ‘A similar idea just happened to occur to me, that’s all. How can you say it's a copy?’
But the general idea wasn’t the only thing similar about that person’s game. There were also the character models, personalities, plotlines, and part of the program design.
Yet only one person could bask in the limelight, and it certainly wasn’t the person stolen from.
The plagiarizer went on to make lots of money and become famous off the team leader’s work.
And said work, the fruit of all his research, was the hit global sensation ‘Virtual Love’.
When He Zhou finished explaining things to Qiu Yanzhi, the phone rang.
The caller was the top international lawyer group that He Zhou had contacted last night.
They had accepted He Zhou's anonymous commission - to help the team leader re-sue ‘Virtual Love’ for copyright infringement.
Chen Lesi had already returned from his business trip. Since he’s been feeling guilty all this time about sending Qiu Yanzhi the wrong installation package, he immediately rushed to the lab after hearing Qiu Yanzhi's request.
He connected Qin He's phone to the computer and started decoding. Sure enough, he found the address of Devour Dream’s complete data.
Chen Lesi was a little excited. This was his first time seeing the complete code of Devour Dream with his own eyes.
--The copy he sent to Qiu Yanzhi before was corrupted. He didn’t even know what God Qiu Yanzhi offended that let him successfully install the game. No matter what Chen Lesi tried, no matter what operating system he downloaded the installation package on, it always showed an error.
Although Chen Lesi didn’t know what Qiu Yanzhi and this big boss sunamed He wanted to do, he was able to make a feasible suggestion after listening to their request--
Before, he had developed a type of software called ‘Invisibility Cloak’, which was able to hide data. Chen Lesi could just apply this software on ‘Devour Dream’ so that the entrance to the game was impossible to find without entering the password.
Applying software was much simpler than making changes to the code.
They were done by the time the sun had set.
In order to make sure the game remained hidden, Chen Lesi copied the address of the only copy in existence from Qin He’s phone onto a USB, which he gave to Qiu Yanzhi. Then he deleted the address in the phone.
After all that was done, Chen Lesi erased all his traces and warned Qiu Yanzhi that the fatal bugs in-game still existed, especially the one preventing players from logging out. Thus, they must not attempt to go into the game ever again or risk being trapped inside once more.
Since they had checked off all the things on their list and it was already dark out, Chen Lesi went home and He Zhou gave Qiu Yanzhi a ride to his apartment.
Qiu Yanzhi blinked. "Will you come back tomorrow after you get some sleep?"
"I think so." He Zhou said.
Under the cover of darkness, Qiu Yanzhi threw himself forwards and...held hands with He Zhou.
Yep. That’s it. Nothing else.
--Because He Zhou refused to go any further.
"Then quickly come back, ah.” Qiu Yanzhi said pitifully.